The plague hit Florence, Italy in the mid-14th century. Giovanni Boccaccio set his 100 stories within the framework of a group of people escaping the city and to pass the time, they took turns telling stories.
The first story on the first day is a tale of how Ciapperello da Prato, aka Ciappelletto, became a saint.
Wikipedia site for The Decameron
Wikipedia site for Giovanni Boccaccio
Brown University web project, Decameron Web